Kids group growing

By Todd Cohen

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — Boosted by a capital drive that raised $1.8 million, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sandhills plan to add three to four clubs throughout Moore County over the next five years.

“We’ll strategically put Boys & Girls Clubs where kids from other communities can have easy access,” says Hoyt Bynum, executive director.

The clubs’ Southern Pines unit, which opened in February 1999 and is run by DeWayne Moore, serves 200 children a day with after-school programs and 300 a day with summer programs.

Moore, director of operations, also oversees a unit in Rockingham that serves 50 children a day and was affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of Cumberland County until the Sandhills clubs chartered it in January.

After initially using the community center off South Mechanic Street operated by the Southern Pines Housing Authority, as well as a 3,500-square-foot facility it leased on South Bennett Street, the Southern Pines unit in February relocated to a 20,000-square-foot former firehouse that houses the clubs’ administrative offices, two gyms and a game room and computer room.

The Rockingham unit, directed by Mahalia White, moved last August to Washington Street Middle School from a facility operated by the Rockingham Housing Authority.

Funds raised in the capital drive, chaired by Pat Corso, CEO of Pinehurst Inc., will support renovation of the firehouse, an endowment for its upkeep and additional units in Moore County.

Representatives of Hoke County also have contacted Bynum about opening a club there.

The organization, chaired by John Dempsey, president of Sandhills Community College, will hold a fundraising golf tournament Feb. 16 at Pinehurst No. 8, and its annual fundraising dinner Feb. 4.

The dinner, to feature speaker Grady Little, who lives in Pinehurst and managed the Boston Red Sox, will kick off the group’s annual fund drive, which aims to raise $20,000 after netting $17,000 this year.

The board’s development committee, chaired by Sherwood Blackwood, a First Citizen vice president in Pinehurst, is developing a strategy to raise money through wills and deferred gifts, says Caroline Eddy, a former director of the Arts Council of Moore County who joined the clubs in August as director of development.

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